Millions of Americans are trying to reduce their credit-card debt..Faced with increasing financial responsibilities, many are looking for ways to eliminate the bills they receive each month and free up some of their income..
Fortunately, most debt is manageable - if it is addressed early enough. Here's what you need to do if you are overburdened with debt...
Acknowledge the problem.
Most people deny that they have debt problems..They refuse to admit that the problems exist or believe that they will go away by themselves. The fact is that if you owe money on your credit cards and cannot pay the entire amount when the bill arrives, you have debt...
If your debt grows too large, you run the risk of being unable to meet your monthly payments and seriously damaging your credit rating.
The biggest drawback to debt is that it uses up income that could have been invested or spent elsewhere.. You are also paying more for something over time than if you had paid for it full right away..Even if your debt situation is only temporary, immediate action must be taken to minimize interest payments..
Put everything in writing
To determine how much debt you are carrying monthly.. Calculate how much you owe. Then determine your monthly income and expenses. If your debt is higher than your monthly income you should take steps to reduce it.
Strategy: Make two lists - one for expenses that are essential and the other for those that are optional. Some expenses that seem essential may have to be reclassified as optional. Hold a family meeting to plan cutbacks. While debt may be a difficult subject to discuss with your spouse and children, it is essential that all family members make sacrifices..
Don't slash expenses too dramatically:
Just as total deprivation diets do not help you lose weight permanently, budgets that completely eliminate anything that hints of fun do not permanently eliminate debt..Cutting back is better than cutting out..
Work hard to stay on course:
Paying debt is an incremental process. Try not to take on new debt or go on a spending binge as a reward for being frugal. If you are having trouble making payments don't ignore the bills. That only gets you into deeper trouble.
Instead, contact all of your creditors to work out a less onerous repayment plans or to assure them that you will keep making regular payments..This is what your creditors really want to hear from you, since regular lower payments are better than no payments at all.